Labour MP replaces Caroline Flint as shadow secretary of state covering housing, planning and building regs

Labour leader Ed Miliband has chosen former environment secretary Hilary Benn to be shadow communities secretary, replacing Caroline Flint.

Miliband has moved Flint to the shadow energy secretary portfolio, as part of a wide-ranging reshuffle of the Labour Party top team today.

New Labour MP Chuka Umunna will shadow Vince Cable’s business secretary role, and Mary Creagh will take on the environment job.

Miliband said: “I am determined that my shadow cabinet not only holds this government to account but speaks to the public and the country. Families across Britain are worried about how they will make ends meet, anxious about what the future holds for their children and tired of the way irresponsibility is tolerated across our society.

“Together we will show how the government is failing to help families who face a cost of living crisis, how it is failing to take action on energy bills and rail fares and failing to get the economy moving again.”

Hilary Benn, son of left-wing veteran MP Tony Benn, ran for the leadership of the party when Tony Blair stepped down in 2007, coming forth out of six. He will now shadow communities secretary Eric Pickles, where the brief covers housing, planning, regeneration and building regulations, as well as local government.

Under the last labour government Benn had roles as international development secretary as well as environment secretary. It is not yet known whether shadow communities ministers Alison Seabeck and Jack Dromey have retained their roles.